Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández declared Wednesday while on a visit to Israel that relations between his Central American country and the Jewish state had never been closer.
“As long as I am president, Honduras will stand behind Israel,” Hernández said in a speech before the Israel Council on Foreign Relations (ICFR) and the World Jewish Congress, under whose auspices the council operates, at the King David Hotel.
Hernández had met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the day to discuss ways in which the two countries could assist each other.
The Honduran president told guests of the ICFR following that meeting that “after this visit, relations, which have been solid for 65 years, will be even stronger.”
He was accompanied on his visit this week by a high-level delegation that included Secretary of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Arturo Corrales Álvarez, Secretary of Infrastructure and Public Services Robert Antonio Ordoñez, Secretary of Agricultural Affairs Jacobo Paz Bodden and Secretary of National Defense Samuel Reyes.
Hernández, who studied in Israel in 1992 in a Mashav program (an Israeli development and cooperation program), explained that the delegation was especially interested in learning from Israel’s experience in the realms of security and irrigation.
Mordechai Arbell, a former Israeli ambassador and an authority on the history of Jews in the Caribbean and Central America, chaired the dinner. He welcomed the president and expressed gratitude to the Honduran consuls in Europe who issued visa to Jews from Europe fleeing Nazi oppression.